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Waterfront Building with Seattle P-I Globe Sells to Swiss Real Estate Fund for $41.9MM

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user kenficara

By Kristin Bentley

After changing ownership in 2007, the Waterfront office building, still topped by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer globe, was sold again last week. The Class A office building was purchased by a real estate fund of Credit Suisse Group, based out of Switzerland, for $41.9 million from SteelWave on Feb. 10. The property, located at 101 Elliott Avenue, is the fund’s second investment in the U.S., and its first in the Pacific Northwest.

The Waterfront building is five stories with 101,738 square feet of office space, featuring a remodeled building lobby and executive conference room with high-tech capabilities, landscaped plaza, entry fountain and eight exterior building decks.

“101 Elliott Avenue represents an excellent core office property with a strong tenant base”

Credit Suisse does not plan to resell the property anytime in the near future. “101 Elliott Avenue represents an excellent core office property with a strong tenant base,” said Daniela Zulauf Brülhart, spokesperson for Credit Suisse Group. “The cash flow of the investment is secured through leases with an average weighted unexpired term of eight years. The location might further benefit from new developments and the nearby planned Expedia campus. The investment is long term with a focus on steady cash flow.”

Credit Suisse Real Estate Investment Management launched its first real estate fund in 1938 and has over ten years’ experience in the real estate market in North America with 11 assets in cities like Vancouver, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. Its current portfolio of U.S. real estate assets is valued at $1.2 billion and consists of three million square feet across the continent. Active management has allowed it to achieve a current occupancy near 95 percent and a total of 167 tenants.

With a profit of nearly two million dollars after eight years of ownership, SteelWave is in the business of buying and selling. Formerly Legacy Partners Commercial (LPC), SteelWave is a commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate management, operating company, and investment management firm based out of San Francisco. According to its website, SteelWave has been active in commercial real estate for 44 years and has a $12.5 million portfolio.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray declared the P-I globe, still sitting on top of the Waterfront building, an official landmark last December, after being designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Board in April 2012. “Since 1948, the P-I globe has been a familiar icon in this city,” said Murray. “I’m pleased this landmark will be preserved and remembered for its place in Seattle’s history.” Hearst Corp., owner of the globe, is working with the City of Seattle and the Museum of History & Industry to restore the globe and move it to a new location.